Article by Venice Kichura,
Large Scandinavia cities are known for pickpockets. Before leaving for a Scandinavian vacation learn how to have a safer and more enjoyable trip.Besides their desirable cool summer weather, the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway are rich in culture and history. To make the most of Scandinavian trip tourists should know what to expect before leaving home.
Tips for Dodging Pickpockets
The large capital cities such as Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki and Oslo are notorious for pickpockets, just like most European cities.
- Don’t appear distracted. City pickpockets are professionals and are constantly looking for distracted tourists. Be wary of anyone asking if they can help with directions. In a split second a pickpocket can take off with a bag.
- Watch out for strangers spilling ice cream or any other type of food on you. Again, all it takes is a second to swipe a tourist’s bags and other belongings.
- Carry bags across the shoulders rather than simply around a shoulder.
- Take a minimum amount of items when walking the streets. Place important articles such as credit cards and passports in a direct position with the body.
- Be aware of anyone trying to sit too close to you and avoid mobs of people in streets or anyone who tries to bump into others.
Cutting Costs in Scandinavia
As Scandinavians are the wealthiest people in Europe, the region is known for being expensive. This is because of the many government subsidies that take care of Scandinavians from cradle to grave. However, this doesn’t mean that only wealthy tourists can visit.
- Scandinavia offers many discounts to youths, students, seniors and family.
- Take only a few or none of the optional tours on a tour, which can be pricey. Instead, see the city attractions on your own.
- Get reimbursed for taxes for purchases. This can be done at airports by simply showing receipts and goods purchased.
About Scandinavian Motels
A common mistake that first-time visitors to Scandinavian make is assuming there aren’t any hot, humid summer days. On the contrary, Scandinavian areas can be just as hot as most areas of the United States in summer.
Unlike American hotels, most Scandinavian hotels do not have air conditioning and rarely offer even a portable fan. That’s why tourists should pack a small portable, battery-operated fan. When an American tourist, Mary K forgot to pack extra “D” batteries for her portable fan she wasn’t able to find any “D” batteries. That’s why it’s important take spares.
Sleeping in Scandinavian Hotels without a Fan
Cooling off isn’t the only purpose of a fan for some travelers as they need to constant hum of a fan to put them to sleep. When in a foreign country, a good alternative to a fan is to go to sleep to a low-volume television show that’s in another language. That’s what Mary K of Georgia did, as well as cover the TV to shut out light.
Of course, not being able to understand the language helps in falling asleep so one isn’t as distracted by the words. Mary K also opened up a window as the constant hum of traffic in big cities, such as Stockholm, can substitute for a fan. Her plan actually worked and she was able to sleep soundly.
Safety in Scandinavia
Scandinavia is considered safer than most regions of Europe, but there a few pitfalls for tourists to avoid.
- Watch out of cyclists. This is especially true in Copenhagen where it seems as if more people ride bikes than cars. Copenhagen has designated cycle lanes so pedestrians should be cautious not to walk in front of cyclists.
- Be careful walking on cobblestone pavements. Cobblestones are particularly dangerous when wet on in cities such as Bergen, Norway where the stones tend to be more three-dimensional.
Just as any foreign country, Scandinavia can present problems to tourists, but they can be conquered if travelers are aware of the challenges before they arrive there. On a positive note, most Scandinavians speak understandable English as they’re taught the English language in the early elementary school years of their schooling.
Copenhagenet: Copenhagen Tourist Information (date accessed 8/1/2011).